1964 Shelby 289 Cobra "CSX 2326"
RM | SOTHEBY'S - MONTEREY 2016 - The Jim Click Ford Performance Collection
- Offered from the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection
- Just four private owners from new; owned by Jim Click on three occasions over 50 years
- Converted to vintage racing specifications by Don Roberts
Creating the perfect blend between British handling finesse and the brute strength of American horsepower, Carroll Shelby’s Cobra was nothing short of spectacular and quickly proved to be just as successful in the showroom as it was on the racetrack. A handful of companies had done this before with some degree of success, namely Allard, Cunningham, and Nash-Healey, but none would see the same amount of success as Shelby and his Cobra.
The Cobra quickly became a force to be reckoned with after its introduction in 1962. At the Cobra’s first outing in Riverside, California, in February 1963, Dave MacDonald handedly put everything on the track in his rearview mirror. Those who saw it in action were immediately smitten. Well aware of the Cobra’s sporting credentials, many owners took their street-Cobras racing and modified them accordingly, seeing great success against Corvettes and European marques. Even today, Cobras remain highly competitive in the vintage racing circuit and are often the vehicle of choice for those aiming to be at the top of the podium.
Offered from the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection, CSX 2326 has played an interesting role in Mr. Click’s passion for Shelby automobiles throughout the majority of its life. Originally finished in bright blue with a red leather interior, it was sold new to John Robert Wood of Hyndman, Pennsylvania, in early 1964, according to the fourth edition of the World Registry of Cobras and GT40s. Wood kept the car for the next 12 years before offering it for sale in the summer of 1976, listing it as: “Bright blue with red interior, soft-top, wire wheels, 15,000 actual miles, one owner.” It was purchased at that time by none other than Jim Click.
Click, however, would only keep the car for two years before selling it to Peter Kendig, also of Arizona, in need of restoration. Kendig restored the car, refinishing it in red but retaining the original red upholstery. He also added chrome wire wheels and a chrome rollbar. In 1981, Kendig passed the car back to Click in trade for a Porsche 911 Turbo. The car remained in street guise for the next decade before Click decided to convert CSX 2326 to vintage racing specifications in the mid-1990s under the direction of Don Roberts. Roberts was a noted racing driver and mechanic in his own right, with massive success in both period and vintage racing behind the wheel of Mr. Click’s cars. At that time, the fenders were flared in order to fit 7.5” Halibrand wheels, and a 302-cubic inch racing engine was installed, along with a fuel cell, aluminum radiator, and an electric fuel pump. Further upgrades included quick jacks, side pipes, racing seats, a fire-suppression system, and Spax shocks, among others.
Refinished in Sapphire blue with white stripes, just as it appears today, CSX 2326 competed in a number of historic racing events around the United States for the following decade. It was sold to the noted collector Chip Connor in 2002, but was sold back to Click for a third time in 2007, and has remained with him to this day.
In 2012, the car went through a complete mechanical overhaul and both engine and transmission were removed from the car to be fully rebuilt. The engine, a 289-cubic inch block, was bored out to 306 cubic inches. The car was fitted with a new rear axle and all of the uprights and brake calipers were rebuilt. Although it did not race at the 2012 Monterey Historics, CSX 2326 was driven there during practice and proved to be very competitive, lapping the circuit 1.5 seconds faster than any other Cobra. Fully prepared for the 2015 vintage racing season, Mike McGovern raced the car at Monterey in 2015 and dominated the field, winning every single race that he and CSX 2326 were entered in.
With numerous racing upgrades throughout, this Cobra would surely prove to be a fierce competitor on the racetrack for its next owner, as it has proven in the past in the Jim Click Ford Performance Collection.